Friendship is Created When . . .

The Peterborough Dialogues: Connection, Community, Change

Friendship is Created When . . .

Skepticism. Hesitation. Hope. As participants in yesterday’s Peterborough Dialogues pre-launch lunch gathered these are some of the feelings they voiced. Once again, within 90 minutes new connections were made between strangers and new relationships were sparked. This video harvest shares the parting reflections of some of those who came out to play.

By the end of the day, several had committed to attending the full dialogue series and registered.

The Peterborough Dialogues is a wild adventure into unknown territory. This is a first attempt at holding a field for change, over time, by integrating the hosting and narrative arts in quite the way Axiom News is attempting. To make things more adventuresome, the company is also experimenting with a sustainability and accessibility model that can seem at once simple, befuddling, paradigm-busting, and . . . deeply personal, depending on where one is coming from.

By integrating deep dialogue, citizen engagement, social business, and local living intentions the company hopes to cultivate new energy in its hometown and to learn what it can about creating a self-sustaining community building enterprise for just these purposes. We’ll see what happens.

The pre-launch lunches are being hosted by Axiom News in its hometown of Peterborough, Ontario to provide citizens an opportunity to taste-test a gifts and possibilities conversation. As the pre-launch lunches unfold community capacity is already unfolding. The hosting team has been able to sense what energies are most alive for participants and have been shaping the conversations along with interested community members. Once the dialogues begin, open spaces will be hosted for those wishing to continue conversation or to design collaborative, next steps. It is anticipated that new, co-created, narrative arts will also emerge as a way to make meaning and share living stories with the larger community.

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Writer Bio

Peter Pula's picture
Peter Pula

Peter Pula has been exploring the pathways to social evolution since founding the Grassroots Review in his hometown of Peterborough in 1992. Since then he has served on the boards of civil society and arts organizations and served as board president on two of them.

He has been actively involved in federal politics and led a corporate communications firm. Axiom News was incorporated under his leadership in 2009 and went on to establish the practice of Generative Journalism in an international arena.
In 2015, Axiom News founded and funded the Peterborough Dialogues in its hometown. The Peterborough Dialogues hosted over 350 deep community dialogues, established and refined hosting arts, and has had lasting impact in the Peterborough community. For this work in community, Peter was awarded the 2017 Brian L. Desbiens Community Service Award by Fleming College after being nominated by his peers and members of the community.

Peter works in support of deep democracy and passionately but lightly-held spaces for citizen-led community development. He believes that artfully hosted dialogue and generative media making are together a necessary social innovation for cultivating local-living abundance.

Peter is an artful dialogue host, newsroom director, team leader, mentor, trainer, and consultant. He can be a supportive force in the cultivation of initiatives in your community, network, or organization.

He has been invited to host dialogues, summits, workshops, and learning circles in Canada, the United States, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and most recently in France.

If you would like to enjoy an exploratory conversation about engaging Peter in appropriate ways to enliven or enlighten your initiatives, you can reach him directly by writing to

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